Syria: 'Car bomb kills 41' near al-Bab after IS defeat

A suicide bomber killed 29 people, majority rebels, on Friday near the Syrian town of Al-Bab, which they had taken from the Islamic State group just hours earlier, a monitor said.

"We are announcing Al-Bab completely liberated, and we are now clearing mines from the residential neighborhoods", says Ahmad Othman, commander of the Sultan Mourad rebel group.

Exchanges of rocket and artillery fire first broke out on Wednesday, centred on the rebel-held district of Rashideen, the Observatory said.

AT least 60 people have been killed by an Islamic State vehicle bomb at a checkpoint near al-Bab, according to reports.

Al-Bab is one of IS' last remaining strongholds near the Turkish border.

Meanwhile, Iraqi forces made crucial gains in Isis' Iraqi capital of Mosul, progressing through western districts after retaking the city's airport.

He said rebel fighters, Turkish soldiers, and civilians from Al-Bab had called a meeting in Susian "to organise a security apparatus and set a plan for rebuilding al-Bab". The areas it leaves behind are often badly damaged in the fighting, and the militants routinely booby-trap building before retreating.

Turkish, Syrian, Russian and US-led coalition warplanes hammered al-Bab and the surrounding countryside in recent months during the battle for the city.

At least six Syrian fighters were also among the dead, according to Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim.

Rebel spokesman Hamou told Syria Direct that advancing forces did not encounter civilians on the street, but that there were "small numbers" of civilians sheltering in the basements of their homes inside al-Bab.

Despite major changes on the ground and in diplomatic circles since the parties last met in Geneva almost a year ago, however, expectations were low.

De Mistura recognized the challenges in his welcome statement. We've seen it all the time during the last talks.

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